Interview with Illustrator and Creative Director Ricardo Martinez

Interview with Illustrator and Creative Director Ricardo Martinez

Interview with Illustrator and Creative Director Ricardo Martinez
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A lot of your illustrations are for editorials. Can you describe your commercial work vs. personal projects.

Editorial work for Opinion pages is limited by the subject of the illustration. I’ve been illustrating these Sunday Opinion pages for the Managing Editor of El Mundo for 24 years. The subjects are  about Spanish politics 99% of the time , which is very repetitive, and I have to make an extra effort to create “exciting" images with the same characters every week. Lately, I’ve been illustrating a Viewpoint section with two writers’  different points of view, like the ones I was doing 25 years ago at the Miami Herald. Now the subjects are more fun to illustrate. Other than that,  I do illustrations for the entertainment magazine “Metropoli". There I can do basically whatever I want, even decide what movie I want to illustrate for the cover. Besides the Editorial page and "Metropoli" I’ve been doing some illustrations for myself,  wildlife animal scenes. These are larger illustrations, 36 by 24 inches, but I do them in scratchboard. These illustrations have been so challenging that I think I’ve learned more about the scratchboard technique in these last two years, than in the rest of my professional career.

Advertising art doesn’t leave you as much freedom as these illustrations I’m doing for myself or for “Metropoli". Once in a while you get an assignment where lots of minds are involved, and it is kind of frustrating, because of conflicting messages. But I think the client knows what they want better than you do, and the final result is usually very pleasing.

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As a caricature artist, your illustrations always portray a vivid message. How do you go about creating a piece? Do you inject personal opinion in commercial work?

When I’m doing an illustration for someone’s point of view I have to make sure that the viewer of the art is seeing what the article is expressing with words. But you always tend to show a little of your personal views in the final illustration. In commercial work, advertising, I just try to capture the message the client wants to transmit.

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Which among your illustrations is your favorite? Why? How did you come up with it?

My favorite illustrations are the ones were I was reaching a point that I didn’t know I could reach. I remember an illustration I did for The Miami Herald about censorship in Britain, for which I did a lion with a crown with a flag binding its mouth. When doing that, I remember the adrenaline flowing. It was as if I was discovering new worlds and new civilizations as they
say in Star Trek, going where no one has gone before. Ha, ha! Of course it wasn’t that, but what a great feeling. Lately I’m enjoying those large animal illustrations because each of
them is a different exploration of the possibilities of scratchboard.

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